John Bentley

John E. Bentley

Wednesday, February 14th, 1934 - Thursday, December 26th, 2019
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John E. Bentley, 85, of St. Joseph, passed away, Thursday, December 26, 2019 at Spectrum Health Lakeland in St. Joseph.

Arrangements are entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel, St. Joseph. Memorial donations in John’s name may be made to the St. Joseph-Lincoln Senior Center. Those wishing to sign John’s Memory Book online may do so at

John was born February 14, 1934 in Kingston, New York to John & Inez (Bishop) Bentley. He graduated from Windham Central High School, Class of 1952, and went on to earn a degree in agriculture. John served his country in the US Army, and on April 12, 1958 he married the former Madeline Swift in Rockport, New York.

John was employed for many years as a manager at Gerber Baby Foods in Rochester, New York and later at Hanover Brands in Pennsylvania. After moving to St. Joseph, he and Madeline owned & operated Land of Dreams Bedroom Furniture in Benton Harbor. John was an active member of St. Joseph-Lincoln Senior Center. In his free time, he enjoyed tending to his yard and flowers, reading, walking and building scale model buildings of hometown businesses he remembered. John was an honest man of the highest integrity in whatever he did, and most of all, a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather.

John is survived by his wife Madeline; two sons-John R. (Noemi) Bentley of St. Joseph, Jim (Renee) Bentley of St. Joseph; two grandchildren-Barbara (Peter) Hamlington & Ian (Amanda) Bentley; his great-granddaughter Ada Hamlington; his sister-in-law Edie Bentley of Windham, NY; and several nieces & nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother Raymond Bentley.
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There are no services planned at this time. Memorial donations in John's name may be made to The St. Joseph-Lincoln Senior Center.


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Jeanette Dolan

Posted at 02:02pm
Madeline, John, and Jim
What can I say other than your husband and dad was a wonderful man. He taught me so much at a young age about responsibilities, commitment, honesty, and most of all doing for others when they needed help.
A long, long time ago I needed a bed and Madeline and John made sure I had one on credit. At the time I think I was 17. I made payments faithfully to pay the bed and bedding off. They took a risk on me and boy did it pay off in more ways than just a place to rest my head.
Whenever I would see John at Martins we would visit and catch up. He was always happy to hear of how life turned out for that 17 year old girl, little did he know the feeling was mutual.
I am sorry for your loss, my heart aches for you. I’m sure not as much as yours.
Much appreciation for knowing a great man and love goes out to all of you who mourn his loss.
Jeanette (AuxTinee) Dolan

Elizabeth Burrows

Posted at 09:32am
My sincere condolences for you and your family. While it has been years since we met, I still have fond memories of both you and John. I remember, when we first met, I had this vision in my head where I saw the Land of Dreams van sitting at my old childhood home. I turned to you both and asked if you lived at 1230 Young Place and the two of you had a look of ‘how did she know our home address’ on your faces. I explained that I lived there as a child and you so graciously allowed me into your home where I could see it from adult eyes. I remember looking at the closet under the stairs and saying ‘Wow, I used to play under there’. I imagined the closet being SO large, when it was in fact it was very small. John, as well as you Madeline, are very kind and caring people. John will be missed by many.

Elizabeth A. Burrows

Mike Peden

Posted at 10:29pm
Remembering all the fun times we had fishing together. Can't forget his pal Bitsie. What a nice man he was. RIP Me Bentley

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